Category Archives: Transparence

Transparence – the personal blog of Bryan W. Cole

Subject Line Emails

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m just oversensitive about this – but I really disdain emails where the whole “meat” of the e-mail is contained within the subject line…

A little background…

I think communication well executed is of paramount importance in our relationship economy, and something that is unfortunately not given the attention and effort that it deserves. In all but a few rare exceptions, my e-mails, even to very regular recipients, contains a greeting, and a salutation – and I’m not speaking of a fixed salutation stored in a signature block – these are hand typed, and vary with each e-mail (the fixed signature block salutations are pretty easy to spot after the 3rd or 4th e-mail says the exact same thing, in the same font, spaced exactly the same way.)

I guess what I’m trying to communicate to recipients when I send messages is that they are more important to me than the task or subject of the message. But as a result their message is also important to me as well (just not as important as THEY are.)  You’ve all received the e-mail (or txt for that matter) from someone whom you’ve not communicated with for weeks, and the message is simply a one line message, usually a task (could you “X” for me?) To me, and again, maybe I’m oversensitive on this, that type of message just tells me that completion of the task is more important to the sender than our relationship. I always start with a “Hello {name},” and if it’s been a while since I’ve spoken with them, I will ask how they are, or some other relevant question.

It’s so easy with all of the non face-to-face communication methods we now have at our disposal, to condense a relationship down to just task(s).

The amazing part to me is how often this happens at church – where we are in a general sense committed to community – which implies relationship. But at church, this very thing actually happens even in person – I’ll walk around church on Sunday, and folks that I’ve not spoken to in a while, will need something (I often hold a ‘role’ at church) and you won’t hear “Hi, how have you been,” or any other kind of check in with me personally, just “Hey Bryan, I need…”

I find it somewhat baffling…

I realize we are talking about perceptions here – Most times people have not set out to “be” this way, it’s just happened as a result of time pressures. I’m merely asking that we elevate the importance of the individuals we relate with on a daily bases to a position above the tasks that our daily duties require from them – after all, the people in our worlds are more important than just about anything else. If we lose relationship with people, we’ve lost pretty much everything.


Sharing with Urban Life Church

I had the honor of being asked to share recent parts of my story with Urban Life Church on February 5, 2012. My dear friend Bill Jenkins pastors this intimate group of believers. It is affectionately known as “Church in a Bar”  by many that know of it, as it meets, literally, in a bar in downtown San Jose. There’s something about that that just seems cool – like where Jesus would be hanging out today..

Hope you find something helpful in my story.


When we are growing up, we constantly hear the croon of those that are our senior how “fast time flies” or that “it seems like I was just changing your diapers yesterday.” Lo and behold, I’m just a few days away from welcoming my amazing pre-teen daughter into teen-dom.

And I am SO looking forward to it.

But it did just feel like yesterday.

It seems there are so many things that influence that perception of time, not the least of which is the speed of my own life. I think the amount of margin we carry in life affects it as well. Neither of these elements were very optimized during the first 10 years of my lovely daughter’s life. And it went FAST. I wish I was more present – and that’s not really referring to the physical sense – I worked from home. Physically present does not equal emotionally present.

The last few years have been a journey toward “better” – learning to be (and enjoying being) more present in relationships, even in the midst of less than optimal conditions (financial pressure, business commitments, emotional struggle, etc.) Just this week, I’m in the middle of a significant amount of pressures to deliver a project for a client, and I’m learning that presence does not come without a fight – when I let my guard down this week, the fog rolls in, and when my daughter shows me the beautiful dress she and mom just purchased for our date this saturday, I see it, am blown away by it, but it seems like a world so far away in that moment. If I continue to let that slip, by the time Saturday rolls around, I’ll be completely taken out by the event.

I must keep fighting! We all must. I have spent so much of my life letting my circumstances dictate my well being that it is easy to fall back on that behavior. Thankfully, circumstances are just that – circumstances – and they don’t define who we are are (but how we approach them often indicates who dwells within us.)

I’m really looking forward to ushering this amazing new teen into the world. It’s been fun to watch her gifts develop, and to do our best to provide an environment for those gifts to incubate with minimal distraction from the “expectations” of society.

Audiophiles tell us that one of the colorful words used to describe that a loudspeaker delivers a live, lifelike sound is “presence.” Isn’t that interesting, that a measurement of presences is the amount of life-likeness? Oh, I want to be that!

And to Aimee Cole, you are an amazing young lady, with a very diverse set of gifts and talents. Extremely artistic and creative ( and a Martial Artist as well (Tae Kwon Do Black Belt.) It’s so much fun to watch you live in your gifts, and see in you the joy that you get from that activity. I can’t wait to spend this weekend with you – present.




A love letter…

I am so amazingly in love with you –  and my love for you grows stronger with every day that I spend my life with you.  I begin each new day wondering what you have in store for both of us – what adventure will we complete this day, what challenge will we have to overcome that we can only overcome together. Yes, I even look forward to those things from my past that you bring up and force me to deal with – I know that working through those things only deepens the adventure, and beaks down any remaining parts of the wall that prevent me from fully knowing and experiencing you.

It wasn’t always like that, you and I…   Continue reading